We’ve been spotlighting some of our employees here at CJ Pony Parts and sharing their Mustang stories and, recently, it hit us: Why stop there? It’s because of our valued and loyal customers that CJ’s has grown to what it is today, and we love learning some of your stories. We already shared a large amount of customer Mustang photos on social media, and now we’re happy to present the next segment for our blog: Customer Profiles.
It took us only a few days to decide on who we thought would be a great customer to highlight first, and we’re happy to be sharing some of his story with you now!
Jim Denyer lives in Toowoomba, which is in central Australia, and says his Mustang enthusiasm began around the age of eight when he saw that a family friend, Dean, had a ’66 vintage burgundy coupe. A little over twenty years later, in 2010, Jim decided that he wanted to buy his first Mustang and began looking at a 1965 coupe he first noticed on eBay. While the coupe was in rough shape, looked like it had been painted over three different times, and was clearly in need of a full restoration, Jim was pleased that the body was in great condition for its year and decided to make a bid. As luck turns out, he won the auction. Even though he and another gentleman seemed to tie in their bids, by showing an interest and checking out the Mustang beforehand, the seller decided it was meant for Jim. After finding out the good news, Jim got Dean and his truck, and off they went to pick up Jim’s new Mustang in Kingaroy.
It appears the coupe has had a busy life, first being sold from a San Jose, California district dealer, and then moving around a few times, finally ending up at K&M Motorsports in Paradise, CA in 2007. From there, it was exported to Melbourne, Australia, and then eventually found its way to Kingaroy, where Jim purchased it. While it clearly had a busy life in its past, it might be nothing compared to the complete restoration and modernization Jim had in store for it.
Jim began his project by completely stripping the body, and it was during this stage that he began learning so much about his Mustang and Mustangs in general. Through the door tag, he realized his ’65 coupe was originally vintage burgundy with black interior, which is, in his opinion, one of the best colors available for the 1965 model. He then reached out to Greg Oakes, owner of a small panel shop called G&J Oakes, who agreed to sign on to the project and help with the body panels and repainting. With his advise and some research on what would be best to do with the project, Jim obtained a coil over front suspension kit and the phase 3 disc brake kit with 330mm rotors, along with a power right hand drive rack and pinion kit.
Next, the Mustang went to Dean, who performed the right hand conversion and L02 seatbelt modifications. Then, it went right back to Greg, who was ready to do the body work. To give Jim an idea of what kind of body work could be done, Greg suggested taking a look at CJPonyParts.com, and we’re sure happy he did! Jim says he fell in love with our site and products so much that he barely turned to local Australian dealers for parts for the rest of the restoration.
From November 2012 to today, the ’65 coupe has remained in the body shop, being worked on steadily by both Greg and Jim. In the meantime, Jim has had a man named Trevor Owen build him a 347 stroker engine over the past eighteen months. This has been built from a standard bore 302 Windsor block, with everything else in it new and upgraded. For the transmission, after converting from an automatic to a manual, Jim chose a Tremec TKO600 5-speed, in order to handle the 400-450hp.
Jim has also been working hard on having a custom ACE clutch built, under dash hydraulics, and a Lakewood Quicktime bell housing. While Jim had always planned on using the original lower control arms and strut rods with the RRS coils, he actually found that replacing the lower control arms would be comparable in price and provide a significant improvement. He also found the Global West Fully Adjustable Strut Rods on the CJ website, which he ordered to replace the old strut rods. After some back and forth, Jim also decided on installing an all-in-one air conditioner unit, with help from a local Australian dealer for the conversion, and custom made frame rail connectors, so it looks like an original part.
The wheels for the ’65 coupe proved to be quite a headache for Jim and the crew. The phase 3, 330mm plus caliper brakes on the front require a minimum of 16-inch rim, but most of the wheels made for the Mustang are 14, 15, 17, and 18-inches. Since the minimum is 16-inch and anything bigger wouldn’t look right on a classic Mustang, Jim seemed to be at a bit of a roadblock. However, fortunately for him, Dean took a brief trip to the United States for parts and dropped by Circle Racing Wheels for a walk through and to pick up a catalog for Jim. When he returned, Jim managed to get in contact with Circle Racing Wheels, who have been helpful in custom building him 16-inch rims that will clear the brakes. They’ve also thought to add some custom backspacing, since the RRS system allows for more wheel in early model cars.
Other parts Jim ordered from CJ's for his restoration project include:
Jim’s hoping the car will be finished with its body work and painting in about two to three weeks. He's decided on the FG Falcon red/burgundy, which is a three layer pearl and seems to almost glow in the daylight. When the car is finished in Greg’s shop, he plans to bring it back to his house and finish installing all of the smaller parts. He's even looking to finish it up and have it ready in time for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary next year!
While this is a huge project for anyone to undertake, Jim leads quite the busy life outside of his restoration build. He is the chef and owner of La Pizzaiola Restaurant in Toowoomba, where he lives with his wife, Danielle, and two 18-month old twin daughters. He’s also had quite an extensive history with cars, as this ’65 Mustang is the fifth Ford car he’s ever owned, and the ninth car in total.
In his spare time (which he can’t have much of!), Jim attends a few car shows and meets that feature Mustangs. “There’s no CAD here or Cars and Coffee, so I just have to look at the pictures CJ’s puts up!” He also enjoys riding his jet ski in the summer, spending time with his family, and catching up with friends.
Lastly, in our correspondence getting to know Jim and his story, we asked what it was about Mustangs that he liked so much, as opposed to other muscle cars. He says, quite simply, Mustangs “have the best history of all the muscle cars." Jim is also a fan of all the different exterior and interior color options, producing so many different cars and opportunities for people to really personalize theirs.
Here at CJ’s, we’re anxious to see the finished restoration of Jim’s ’65 coupe, and plan to keep in touch, sharing some glamour shots when it’s all finished. We’re also excited to see what’s next for Jim after this restoration is through. Maybe he’ll begin another complete restoration project? Or perhaps, he’ll go for a Shelby GT350, which he says is his all-time favorite Mustang.
Make sure to keep an eye out on our Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts for more updates on Jim’s Mustang restoration project, and let us know if you have any suggestions for him as he continues by commenting below!